Wednesday, March 5, 2014

POEM: "Three Walls"

Three Walls                          

                                   for Yang Lei, 1982

Because when I was much younger
I imagined a warmer home for us all
A haphazard collection of good uses
Our next tradition, a different love

About the same time Comrade Lei Feng
Becomes immortal watching his old mother
Famous for three walls, no candles, no roof
The rain, cold winters, a long history of bugs

Proletarian dreams...a country girl
1980s slowly kicking home from school
Why couldn’t Xiao Feng try the temples
Sounder sleep, regular meals, a job for life?

The day Mao admires a common soldier
Propaganda’s tale becomes the Truth
The spiders get busy spinning Revolution
Four walls, cold water, dirt floor, mud roof

Wherever He went, we would follow Him
Forty years of Slogan to ensure momentum
They said the People’s Will was everything
(In the museum we saw the ropes they used)

Like any hunger does, tomorrow came at night
Selling beef and chicken, rice and oil futures
Cement floor, shower, low interest, electric light
The dizzy architectures of our glorious comrades

For all I have of this life today, one good turn
Away from the past and all that dereliction

I still dream of whatever it was that was coming
Mostly of beehives and hybrid strains of pollen.

© 2004/2014 Rob Schackne

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